Cleaning itself has been given a makeover, thanks in huge part to Sophie Hinchcliffe. Known in the media as Mrs Hinch, her passion for cleaning has resulted in shortages of the cleaning products she champions to her 600,000 strong army of fans known as Hinchers who can’t get enough of her Instagram images of gleaming floors, shiny surfaces and streak-free windows.
Written by Lisa Proffitt | 28th February 2020
Tips for chemical free cleaning and natural cleaning recipes
Along with having a clean home, caring for the environment is crucial too, so can we reach this level of godlike cleanliness without splashing out on chemical heavy cleaning products that wind up in our water supply? Encouragingly, not only is it entirely possible, but using natural cleaning recipes will also save you a fortune. Read on for our top ten chemical free cleaning tips:
- Lemons and lemon juice are the sustainable cleaner’s best friends. Cut up a lemon (reserve a few slices for a G&T later), add them to a small microwavable bowl of water, and zap for five minutes on full power. Afterwards a quick wipe down with a cloth will remove all traces of grease and grime from your microwave.
- To deep clean a wooden chopping board, sprinkle it with salt, then rub it with a squeezed half of lemon. This chemical-free cleaning method will shift any residues and buff up the wood beautifully.
- Hard water is a kettle killer. For a home-made descaling solution buy a bottle of lemon juice from the supermarket, tip it into the kettle, top up with water and after twenty minutes boil the kettle. After a thorough rinse the limescale will have dissolved and your kettle will be as good as new.
- Grimy looking grout in the bathroom is never attractive. Even a build-up of shampoo can turn grouting an unappealing shade of yellow. For chemical-free cleaning, use a toothbrush, preferably an old electric one, and brush the grout with warm water and a whitening toothpaste. Very discoloured grout might need a further treatment of a thick paste of bicarbonate of soda mixed with white wine vinegar. Apply it to the stained areas with the toothbrush, leave it to work its magic for 15 minutes and then rinse off for grout as good as new.
- Tea bags have joined lemons in the low cost, chemical-free cleaning kit arsenal. For super shiny windows or mirrors, steep one black teabag in a mug of boiling water. When the tea is cold, pour it into a spray bottle and spritz your window, mirror or microwave. Buff dry with a clean soft cloth, or a sheet of newspaper for a streak-free shine.
- For chemical-free limescale removal on metal taps a 2p coin is a magic bullet. Run it under the tap and then use it to gently scratch the limescale away.
- Baking soda is a great, cost-effective natural alternative to chemical-laden sprays and polishes and can be used in all sorts of ways around the house. Mix with vinegar for a chemical-free way to unblock your sink; add a cup full to a bucket of warm water for clean and sparkling floors and sprinkle some straight onto sinks before wiping clean with a damp cloth. You’ll also be freeing up valuable storage space when you’re no longer stockpiling different sprays for every job/room in the house.
- If you suffer with ant infestations in the summer, mix equal parts of salt and baking soda and sprinkle the mixture wherever you see them trooping in. Aside from the environmental impact of using chemicals, if you have small children or pets running around, you’ll need an alternative to toxic pest repellents.
- On a brighter note, baking soda can even keep flowers fresher for longer. Just add a teaspoon of the powder to the water in your vase for a natural plant food.
- There are plenty of environmentally-friendly laundry brands out there from Ecoeggs to Ecover and to minimise the amount of any detergent you use, add a tablespoon of soda crystals to every wash. Not only does it soften the water and help to make your clothes fresher and softer, but it also protects the machine from limescale, helping it last longer. Good news for the planet and your wallet.
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